Vernacular press continued to play a very damaging role in the anti-Ahmadiyya campaign. There was no slackening on its part in this contemptible drive. Its news and articles included disinformation, fabrication, prejudice slander and outright promotion of hate and violence against Ahmadis. It was a steady effort in which the newspapers seemed to compete with one another. Some samples:
Murder of Maulvi Yusuf Ludhianvi
Maulvi Yusuf Ludhianvi was murdered by some terrorists in broad daylight at Karachi in May. Mullas of the Khatame Nabuwwat organization found it a God-sent opportunity to make some more anti-Ahmadiyya mileage. The Daily Aghaz of Karachi made it the banner headline on its front page of May 20:
Qadianis Arranged the Murder of Maulana Yusuf Ludhianvi
The Daily Ummat of Karachi also splashed a big headline on 22 May. Other Urdu newspapers also, more or less, had their share of similar false and baseless propaganda.
The Daily ‘Ummat’
The Daily Ummat is an Urdu newspaper published at Karachi. Although it prints every day on its first page a verse from the Holy Quran: (O Muslims) You are the best people that have been brought forth to reform the humanity; yet to promote its sales, the paper has adopted anti-Ahmadiyya policy and prints grossly twisted and tainted news. For example:
Qadianis have become active in sensitive border areas. Their plan to promote sectarian violence is in final shape. 7 Feb 2000
Mirpurkhas is now a Headquarters Town of Qadianism. Qadianis offer money and women to Muslim youth to enroll them in their community……Influential Qadianis have assumed full control over country’s economy, agriculture and education…..etc
20 December 1999
The weekly Nida-i-Millat (25 Nov) printed three anti-Ahmadiyya violent letters in its column ‘Letter to the Editor’. Some extracts:
1…We tell Qadianis plainly that we shall crush them all over…Qadianis can be inducted only in Israeli Army; they cannot be tolerated in Pak Army….. Conquerors of Qadian and Rabwah challenge them to a fight at any location of their choice……
2…Having been declared Non-Muslims and after being booted out by courts. Qadianis are unable to show their face anywhere….At the occasion of Khatame Nabuwwat conferences, the participants are often seen kicking the effigy of the Mirza-what prestige are the Qadianis left with?………..
3….’As a Muslim and Pakistani, let me say that the Nobel prize to Dr Abdus Salam was a gift from Israelis…..etc.
The Yellow Press
Bhera, district Sargodha; 26 January 2000: The Daily Asas, Rawalpindi and the Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore circulated a fabricated story about an Ahmadi teacher of the Government A.I. Model High School, Bhera. “ Bhera- Violence of the Savage Teacher against the pupil who would not agree to pay private tuition. Imran is seriously injured. The Governor and the Commissioner asked to take notice”, were the headlines in the Daily Asas on 26 January.
It was a false story. It was given a religious bias and pamphlets were distributed in the town.
In fact, one, Afzal Piracha, a neighbor of Mr Manzur Qadir Khan, an Ahmadi teacher, had some personal grievance against him for not giving him his shop on rent. Piracha went for the well-tried procedure: enlist the press and the mulla against the Ahmadi. He did this and succeeded in turning his personal complaint into a big issue.
The school, however, made a bold defence against this onslaught on its reputation. The headmaster issued a categorical statement that private tuition is strictly prohibited in his school and Mr Khan had not indulged in it either. The entire teaching staff of the school issued a joint statement that the news was false and misleading and nothing of the sort had happened in the school. Despite this, Mr. Khan was transferred to a far off location.
Press Volunteers Additional Duties
As if the Daily Ummat of Karachi has admirably acquitted itself of the great responsibilities of a newspaper, it has offered an interesting new service to its readers. The translation of the announcement made in its issue of Nov 2, is given below:
Ummat solicites Readers’ help against the campaign to turn Muslims into Apostates
We request the readers to inform us by post/Numerous anti-Islam non-Muslim organizations are busy in preaching their faith and converting simple-minded Muslims into apostates.
telephone/fax about such individuals and
organizations.Your names will be kept
Compiler the Page ‘The Faith Manifest’
the Daily Ummat, Karachi
Room No. 1 – First floor
Block Nr: 4 Hockey Club of Pakistan
Liaquat Barracks Karachi
Telephone : 5655270-71-72
E Mail : UMMAT @ SAT. NET. PK
7 UMMAT CYBER. NET . PK.
The Internet Case
The Daily Khabrain, Lahore, of May 4, 2000 printed a report, originated at Multan, alleging that Qadianis had displayed a part-map of the Pakistani Punjab on their website on Internet whereby the area had been shown as a part of India. The provocative report explicitly mentioned that thereby Qadianis had handed over the Pakistani Punjab to India. The map was printed by the Daily (even though it clearly carried the address: Expedia.Com Travel), and to misguide the public the TV logo of Muslim TV Ahmadiyya was printed next to it. The Khabrian wrote an editorial note also on the Report and urged the government to keep a strict watch on Qadianis. Mullas and the yellow press were greatly delighted at this ‘discovery’, and followed it up with plenty of poisonous propaganda.
A representative of the Ahmadiyya Community, in a press statement, analyzed the misleading report and nailed the lie. It was pointed out that the printed map clearly carried the address of Expedia. Com Travel and Microsoft that have nothing to do with the Ahmadiyya Community. Mr Hizqil Javed from Rabwah wrote an analytical comment on the malicious Report and established beyond doubt that the Daily Khabrain was stupid to accept the report on its face value. The Daily was good enough to publish this comment; and the propaganda issue died a natural death.
Separate Qadiani State!
A self explanatory rebuttal by an Ahmadi spokesman of a fabricated news item is reproduced below from the Daily Alfazl of 6 December 2000:
“The News of a Plan to create a Qadiani State in Pakistan is Baseless and Vicious Propaganda against the Ahmadiyya Community
Having taken 10 lives through Terrorist Attacks, the Opponents now plan to subject the Ahmadiyya Community to Press Terrorism Ahmadi Spokesman
Rabwah (Press Release). The news relating to a plan of creation of a Qadiani state in Pakistan is baseless and vicious propaganda against the Ahmadiyya Community. This was stated by Mr Malik Khalid Masood, spokesman of the Community in rebuttal of the baseless and homespun propaganda that the Ahmadiyya Community has plans to establish a separate state in the country.
According to the Ahmadiyya spokesman, the opponents, having taken 10 precious lives, plan to subject the Ahmadiyya Community to press terrorism. It has become fashionable to print news against the Ahmadi Community without minimal inquiry.
According to the spokesman, the baseless and homespun news, published with reference to some News Agency, is neither supported by evidence nor there is any truth in it. Press ethics require that the news item should have been verified in advance and supported by some proof. A News Agency originated the baseless and homespun news, and the newspapers, without due inquiry, splashed it in headlines. It is regrettable that a prominent newspaper like Nawa-i-Waqt followed it up with an editorial, without having inquired into the veracity of the news. The editor used harsh words without justification against the Community, and rather than supporting the news with some evidence, he attributed it to the News Agency. “Do the press ethics permit baseless propaganda and dissemination of false news against a community”? – asked the spokesman of the Ahmadiyya Community.
Mr Malik Khalid Masood, the community spokesman stated that the Ahmadiyya Community had worked with the Quid-i-Azam in support of the Pakistan Movement, and has always played its role in the development and progress of the country. Pakistan is our beloved homeland and Ahmadis will spare no effort in its progress and security. They will defend the country with their lives.
According to the spokesman, such false news were spread by groups who were opposed to the creation of Pakistan; now they place obstacles in the country’s progress. The newspapers should print news after due inquiry.”
Rebuttals by Ahmadi spokesmen are given little space more than a postage stamp. Given above are only those incidents, which are off the beaten track, otherwise printing of false and provocative anti-Ahmadiyya news and statements is almost a daily routine with some newspapers who claim nationwide coverage. During just one week in September alone, from 7 to 13 September, a few well-known newspapers of the Punjab printed 70 such news items. These had no ‘news’ value, but were mostly statements and comments made in a highly provocative and malicious language. Translation of only a few of such newspaper entries from the month of September is produced below to give an idea of the nature of this journalistic terrorism:
- Year 2000 is the year of demise of Qadianism – Maulana Firoz
The Daily Ausaf; 8 September
- The main problem for Muslims and Islam in Europe is Qadiani conspiracies. Expulsion of Qadianis from the Army and cancellation of Mirza Tahir’s Pakistani nationality demanded. Maulana Noorani
The Daily Jang ; 7 September
- The accused awarded life term at Quetta for defiling the Quran belongs to a well-know Qadiani family- Ulema
The Daily Khabrain; 8 September
- The presence of Qadianis in the army is dangerous. The government urged to take notice. Having been declared a minority, Qadianis have become destitute and miserable. Alla Yar Arshad
The Daily Ausaf; 8 September
- If Qadianis and NGOs are not restrained, we shall ourselves take care of them -Almi Majlis Khatame Nabuwwat
The Daily Insaf; 8 Septmeber
- Jihad will continue to be waged against Qadianis- Ulema determined
The Daily Jang; 8 September
- We shall not tolerate blasphemers. Muslims, unite. Khatame Nabuwwat Conference – Qadianis ought to rejoin Islam; Hafiz Makki – Resolutions passed demanding ban on NGOs, entry of Religion in the national identity cards and imposition of Sharia penalties.
The Daily Khabrain; 9 September
- Qadianis involved in bomb explosions – Akram Tufani
The Daily Jang; 9 September
- Apostates should be awarded death penalty – Education institutions owned by Qadianis should be confiscated – Khatme Nabuwwat Conference
The Daily Insaf; 9 September
- Qadianis are like a cancer for the Muslim world. We shall persist in their rout.
The Daily Khabrain; 10 September
- Qadianis are a cancer for the Muslim world, they are busy day and night like Israel in hatching anti-Islam conspiracies – Hafiz Makki
The Daily Khabrain; 11 September
- Qadianis in Pakistan are a cancer that needs operation to restore peace. Sarwari of JUP Faisalabad Division
The Daily Pakistan; 11September
- I am in love with the Prophet. I, who exposed Qadianis, cannot even think of making a statement favourable to them. Dr Mahmud Ghazi (Federal Minister of Religions Affairs)
The Daily Juraat; 13 September
- Qadianis are opposed to Islam. Qadiani mischief is the greatest conspiracy against Islam in present times. This evil has struck at Islam to the extent that the Islamic body is fractured with its stabs – Badr-uz-Zaman of Sunni Ittehad Council
The Daily Juraat; 13 September
- The poisonous Qadianis literature is contemptuous of Islamic theology. Pir Mashadi of JUP Punjab stated that this country was created on the basis of Islam; here, there is no room for traitors to Finality of Prophethood. Pakistani rulers are constitution- bound to ban the Qadiani group that does not recognize the national constitution. This group’s properties should be confiscated and its places of worship should be sealed.
The Daily Pakistan; 14 September
- Qadianis are enemies of Islam and Pakistan – Chinioti
The Daily Jang; 16 September
- Qadiani school teacher arrested for allegedly tearing a religious book at Jaranwala
The Daily Khabrain; 21 September
- If life permits, I shall completely destroy Qadianism- Maulana Chinioti
The Daily Juraat; 26 September
- We will not permit handing back the three schools at Chenab Nagar to Qadianis – Faqir Mohammad
The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt; 26 September
- Qadianis are supporters of India; they should be kept under constant surveillance- Chinioti
The Daily Khabrain; 29 September
- The first person to wage Jihad against Qadianis was Imam Ahmad Raza Khan – Sunni Tehrik
The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt; 30 September
With this kind of intensely vicious propaganda unleashed and permitted against Ahmadis, bloody incidents of Ghatialian and Takht Hazara should be no surprise to anybody.